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Magic Mushroom

This beautifully conveyed story of the Magic Mushroom, is sure to be one of the most interesting stories you will always remember.
In a dark and twisted forest, there grows a special type of mushroom. This kind can't be found anywhere else in the world - only in this particular forest, in one particular clearing, right in the heart of ... but I almost gave away the country. I'm not going to tell you which country, because then I'm sure you'll go there, and try to find this mushroom.

And the mushroom can only work its magic if no human ever looks at it or touches it.

Then how do I know about it, you ask? Well, that I can answer. I know about it because I speak to butterflies, and they tell me things. My friends the butterflies have told me about the mushroom and its magic.

But what does this mushroom do?
Magic Mushroom
Aha. That's why it's so special. What it does is to give strength. Oh, like Popeye's spinach, you say. Not like that at all, I answer.

The strength it gives isn't physical strength, but emotional strength. It makes you feel you can. This strength is greater than any other strength in the world. How do you think the butterflies are able to fly all the way from ---- to where I am, hundreds, thousands of miles away, and talk to me? It's because they think they can. Their wings are as fragile as any other butterfly's wings, they get blown by the wind just like their cousins the moths do. Still, they come to where I am and talk to me. They aren't even tired when they reach.

They talk to me, and tell me all the miracles the mushroom has performed.

What miracles?

Well, the miracle of making the butterflies fly long distances - through rain and fog and storms - without getting tired. The miracle of making some trees grow so big, their branches spread across miles of forest. The miracle of giving flowers such strong perfume, the people in aeroplanes high above the clouds catch a whiff of it.

In the forest, there lives a tribe of people. There are very few people left in the tribe, now, and they don't live near the clearing. They are, however, very strong - the mushroom's power reaches them, too, though they don't know it. They always feel they CAN. 

Well, that year, there were five children in the tribe, the oldest 12 years old, and the youngest two.

One day, these children were playing a game of hide-and-seek in the forest. The five-year-old had closed his eyes and was counting, while three others ran to hide, and the two-year-old, his sister, watched him. She giggled when she saw her brother cover his eyes, and tried it herself, imitating him. Closing her eyes and counting, she walked deeper into the forest.

By the time he had counted to ekso (which is one hundred in that country), the five year old saw no other children were about. This was as he had expected, he thought they were all hiding. He didn't know that his small sister had gone off on her own, with her eyes closed. He set off in the other direction to seek his playmates.

Meanwhile, the little girl walked, giggling, with her eyes closed. She couldn't count past dus (ten), so she had stopped counting. She just walked.

Suddenly, she felt a strange sensation. It was as though she was flying. The tribals aren't used to being afraid, and the young are no different from their elders. The child enjoyed the sensation and laughed, still with eyes closed. She smelt some wonderful fragrances, turned around, opened her eyes, and walked back to where she had started from. She hadn't set eyes on the mushroom, and if she had, she wouldn't have known what it was or how to describe it to anyone. Instinctively, she walked back to the spot where she had started from. Her brother had returned there himself, and he yelled, "Found you," and held her hand. One by one, he located the others, and together, they set off for home. Nobody even realised that the child had been lost, or that she had had a strange experience.

It was the tribal elder, the one who taught the children how to weave and paint and count, who first noticed anything. As she was weaving a mat, the child laughed. And as she laughed, she rose up a few feet into the air. She sat there, on nothing, chuckling and weaving. The elder called the child's Mother and Father, who could give him no explanation. Her brother found it amusing, his sister sitting a few feet up in the air, weaving. After a few minutes, the child was back on the ground, still laughing and weaving. Her mat was the softest, most finely woven one in the history of the tribe. As the days went on, her mats continued to be the most finely woven, her paintings the most artistic. For one so young, even among a tribe that had been under the influence of the magic for centuries, it was remarkable indeed.  Fortunately, nobody tried to find out exactly what had happened - or they would surely have set eyes and hands upon the mushroom and ruined its power. They rejoiced in the child's abilities - but didn't covet them. Every time she laughed, the child rose into the air. Sometimes, if she was very happy, she managed to fly from her hut to the tribal elder's hut for her lessons.

The child is grown up now. The butterflies say she is soon to be married, and when she does, maybe her children will inherit the power to fly. Maybe then their children will be able to fly, too. Perhaps one day, there will be a whole tribe of people who can fly.

The only thing is, they mustn't try to find out how. They mustn't see, they mustn't touch the mushroom. They mustn't covet.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 25th January 2017.
Sonali Bhatia
Sonali Bhatia is a freelance writer

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